Chavonnes Battery Blog

Cannon firing at the V&A

Posted on Tue October 3, 2017.

The grand old Castle of Good Hope and its coastal Cannon batteries like the Chavonnes Battery were the watchdogs that guarded Table Bay and its road-stead from invaders in the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries.

Foreign ships making landfall at the Cape were expected to fire a salute of blank shots on entering the bay, not only to signal their friendly intentions but also as a greeting. The salute would be answered by the coastal fortifications – on the understanding that a ship which did not fire a greeting might be met by a volley of cannon-balls.

Between its completion in 1724 and 1860 when its 16 big muzzle-loading cannon bellowed for the last time, the Chavonnes Battery fired innumerable such salutes on the arrival of visiting Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, English, Swedish and Danish merchantmen plying the route to and from the Far East. 

On that day in 1860 when the battery thundered out its last its last salute for more than 140 years, Queen Victoria’s young son, Prince Alfred, pulled a lever that tipped the first load of rubble into the sea at the start of building the breakwater behind which the wharf's and quays of what is now the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront were to be built.

But since the early years of the 21st Century the mighty music of the guns has returned as salutes are fired from the Chavonnes Battery to mark various special occasions.

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Meet the Winners: Underwater Photographer of the Year 2017 Compact WINNER

Posted on Fri September 15, 2017 in Photo Exhibitions.

Jenny Stromvoll was awarded WINNER of the Compact Camera Category in the 2017 Underwater Photographer of the Year competition. Her image, ‘I’ve got my eye on you’, was taken in Mozambican waters with a Cannon camera.

She recently visited the Underwater Photographer competition photo exhibition at the Chavonnes Battery in Cape Town to view her handiwork.

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Arizona / Mexico Border by Simon Norfolk

Posted by Chavonnes Battery on Wed January 18, 2017 in Photo Exhibitions.

A photo by Simon Norfolk depicts a gate at the U.S.-Mexican border. In this night-time image, Norfolk captured the flight of moths in neon light, their trajectory resembling twisted strands of wire. “And what is the light?” Little wonders. “Is it what we think it is? I don’t think the light is even what Americans think it is, not to mention people from impoverished regions in Central America. I think we’re all trying to fly to that light too.” [Myles Little]

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The High Line by Jesse Chehak

Posted on Sat December 10, 2016.

I would say that Jesse Chehak’s image of the High Line park under construction in New York City is the most optimistic. The High Line is a wonderful new part of the city that was partly funded by major donations from wealthy patrons. There are of course many examples of amazing philanthropy going on right now, from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to Leonard Lauder. These kinds of “philanthro-capitalists” are a major, and welcome, feature of the new wealthy. [Jon Feinstein]

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